Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I was reading a book by well known author and leading management consultant, Stephen Covey, in which one of the chapters has been dedicated to the "Seven deadly sins". The author says that, "Mahatma Gandhi said that seven things will destroy us".

The enunciation of these seven blunders that would destroy this world are attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. Reading this seven page chapter was a very enlightening experience and thus I thought of putting the crux of the chapter on my blog, for posterity. These seven sins or blunders have universal applicability.

Image Courtesy - Google Image search.

This list grew from Gandhi's search for the roots of violence. He called these acts of passive violence. Preventing these is the best way to prevent oneself or one's society from reaching a point of violence.

The seven deadly sins, as per the book, are as follows:

Wealth without work. This implies getting 'something for nothing', or getting money without working, or adding value.

Pleasure without conscience. "Conscience is essentially the repository of timeless truths and principles" and anything that gives us pleasure but is against our conscience is a sin.

Knowledge without character.

Commerce without morality.

Science without humanity.

Worship without sacrifice.

Politics without principle. This is one of the deadly sins that is particularly applicable to present day India - the land of the Mahatma - the land where Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born, was elevated to the level of a Mahatma, and also the land where he was assassinated; the land where he is called the 'Father of the nation' - a father who was so far ahead of his time that none can even attempt to walk in his footsteps. Politics per se is not bad, but politics without principles is a sin.

These seven were written on a piece of paper and given by Gandhiji to his grandson, just before Gandhiji's assassination. His grandson has added another blunder to this list of seven, which is:

Rights without Responsibilities.